Whether you are a recent graduate looking for their first job or a seasoned developer looking for a new workplace, the job search itself can be a challenging venue. The sheer number of offers is overwhelming, and receiving multiple rejections is hard to deal with. Here we will discuss a list of tips for an IT worker looking for a job.
The IT sector is different from others: it is new and still rapidly developing. The competition is strong, and there are too many new trends and news for one person to keep track of. The IT professional looking for a job faces this competition and has to endure it. Great skills are necessary to do the work. However, to get the job itself, one needs perseverance and resilience. Time and some luck also play a crucial role. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a job as a web developer or a user experience designer. The job search process isn’t going to be a piece of cake.
Before even posting your CV online, you’ll need to do some serious preparation. First, refresh (or create from scratch) your portfolio. It is a good idea to post a few small projects on GitHub or GitLab and include them as well. If you have any open-source contributions, mention them along with work experience. Don’t hesitate to add conferences you attended or participated in. Look for new trends and technologies and try them, maybe even learn a new framework or language to have an advantage over other candidates. It may be a good idea to start an online course before looking for a job. Having a fresh certification under your belt is always a good idea.
Regardless of your specialization, having some diverse skills in automation and server management is important. Learn bash or python, and play around with Linux to ensure you can navigate in a server environment easily. This will add credibility to your CV and make your real-life work easier. Don’t hesitate to add foreign languages, especially if you are going to work in an international company.
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Choose platforms you’ll use to look for a job. We suggest using a maximum of two, as most companies will post their job offerings on multiple platforms. And tracking applications even from one platform may be difficult. If this is your first job search, prepare to face a lot of frustration at this stage.
Let’s look at some statistics. At best, you’ll get one interview out of ten applications, and nine employers will reject or ignore you. From these interviews, you only need one to succeed. But due to the competitive environment in the industry, there are likely to be multiple stages of the interview. Each one may end with rejection. The whole process is likely to take more than a month, so be prepared. It is important to remember that every rejection you get actually makes you closer to the end goal.
Nowadays, an interview consists of multiple stages, even for an entry-level position. The first one is usually a phone interview, the second one is either an in-person or video interview with multiple people. Sometimes there is the third one, where you have to face the management. There are numerous articles online on how to ace each of these, so we won’t go there now. The most important tip here is to do the “homework” after each stage. If any of the questions seemed tough on the phone interview, research the matter before the next stage.
The process is frustrating and takes a lot of time. To track progress and relieve some of the pressure, you can make a spreadsheet of the proposals and the results. It is usually rewarding to see them outlined with all the details: employer, application date, the result, offered salary. Besides, the latter can be a useful guideline of what to expect and what to bargain for.
It may take a long time to find a good job, especially in 2021, as the markets are full of wannabe programmers. To secure some income, you may turn to freelance opportunities.
Negotiating a salary is always difficult, and there are no strict rules around it. Here we will only give two pieces of advice. If you are new in the industry and interviewing for an entry-level job, agree on the average salary in the industry. Google it in advance, and don’t go any lower if you have a chance. For seasoned developers, it is higher than the average. Usually, IT companies do not hesitate to pay a good developer, especially an experienced one.
The competition in the industry is mind-boggling, and one can expect to visit over twenty interviews before getting a job. It will take resilience and time, but the rewards are worth the trouble: a stable job with a good salary and room for growth.